Animal rescue cries foul over security camera kerfuffle
Darcy Wintonyk and Lynda Steele, ctvbc.ca
Published Tuesday, May 1, 2012 9:58AM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, April 9, 2014 11:36AM PDT
A sanctuary for senior and special needs animals has been refunded more than $3,000 after it says the security company tasked with installing security cameras took its donation money and didn't deliver the goods.
The non-profit Senior Animals in Need Today Society -- or SAINTS -- houses old, special needs and unadoptable animals on a three-acre farm in Mission, B.C. Included in its 100-plus residents is Pinky, a paraplegic daschund, and Ellie May, an 800-pound arthritic pig.
"These are animals who have worked with humans for their entire lives and we have a responsibility to them," founder Carol Hine said.
SAINTS contacted Coquitlam's Admiral Security last fall to install cameras in its barns so staff could monitor the elderly horses overnight. Volunteers helped raise the money necessary.
"The last thing we want is to come in the morning and find one of our animals has been in distress all night and that nobody was there to help them," said Hine.
One of the horses, Gideon, is nearly 37 years old.
The cameras were ordered last September with a written promise they would be installed "between now and December." But after waiting for many months with no result, Hine contacted CTV's Steele on Your Side.
"By mid-March they had never come back to install the cameras. [They] had a couple of excuses in January. They had ordered the wrong cameras. Now the right cameras were in and they were going to come and install them -- but it just never happened," said Hine.
Admiral Security owner Fouad Dbouk was furious that Hine went public with the story, and says she's trying to dupe people into being sympathetic.
"She used the media, you know?" Dbouk told Lynda Steele. "She's using the animals as being animal shelter, you know, so the media would respond to her, just like you did."
Despite a written promise to install the cameras in December, Dbouk claims the installation was slated for the spring.
"She never called," adding that he was waiting to hear back from her in the spring and would have installed the cameras.
Hine said that's simply not true, and just wanted a refund so she could find another company to put in the much-needed cameras: "I think either Admiral Security or ADT who sent Admiral Security here is responsible to refund our money. I think that's the honorable right thing to do."
The owner of Admiral Security wasn't happy about it, but cut a cheque to the charity after being pushed by ADT to resolve the dispute.
Hine said Dbouk tried to get her to sign a legal document saying she wouldn't talk to the media, but she refused.
Hine, who celebrates her birthday Tuesday, said she's going to spend her holidays this month researching the best cameras and services so she doesn't get burned again.
SAINTS has had over 410 animals come through its doors since it opened in December 2004. Of those, 130 were adopted into new homes, 156 passed away at the facility "in loving care" and 121 still call the farm their home.
Currently the facility has 31 dogs, 39 cats, 13 rabbits, three sheep, three horses, one chicken, one rooster, four ducks, three pigs, three cows, three goats and a llama.
Watch tonight for a full report from Lynda Steele...